Research interests

List of publications: scholar.google.nl/citations or pubmed

 

The Preclinical and Translational MRI group of the department of Biomedical Engineering and Physics has the ambition to develop novel quantitative and comprehensive MRI techniques with application to important healthcare problems, including cardiovascular diseases and neuromuscular disorders.

 

We have several research themes: 

 

Preclinical cardiovascular MRI
My lab is at the forefront of the development and application of cardiovascular MRI in small animal models of cardiovascular disease. Highlights include the development of (1) a preclinical first-pass contrast method for assessing myocardial perfusion of the mouse myocardium, (2) development of preclinical T1-, T2-, and T2* mapping protocols for the mouse myocardium, (3) a cardiac CINE sequence with unprecedented frame rates (1 ms) to assess mouse heart diastolic function, (4) combined PET/MRI for the assessment of mouse myocardial infarction.

 

Contrast-enhanced cardiovascular MRI
In recent years we have been interested in the development, understanding, and optimization of MRI protocols for improved detection and quantification of (targeted) contrast agents and contrast-labeled therapeutics for cardiovascular disease applications. Highlights include (1) imaging and quantification of the accumulation of Gd-labeled liposomes and micelles in infarct mouse myocardium, (2) T1-rho imaging for improved detection sensitivity of iron-oxide contrast agent, and (3) understanding of the ‘quenching’ behavior of cell-internalized Gd-based contrast agents.

 

Accelerated cardiovascular MRI
Cardiovascular MRI is seriously hampered by complicated imaging protocols that require long examination times and robust ECG triggering and respiratory gating technology. We have been working on accelerating cardiovascular MRI by the use of parallel imaging and compressed-sensing technology. Specifically, (1) we were the first to combine self-gating technology with compressed-sensing to accelerate mouse CINE cardiac MRI, (2) we have a developed a radial ultra short echo time (UTE) technique for CINE and T2* mapping, and (3) we are currently translating these types of technology for routine clinical application.

 

Multi-contrast MRI
The pre-clinical development and clinical implementation of novel cancer therapeutics benefits from imaging technology that provides early readouts of treatment effect and success. We have developed several multi-contrast approaches, combining contrast readouts such as T1, T2, T1-rho, APT, MTR, DCE, and DWI, to evaluate early effects in mouse cancer models after treatment by high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) and by photodynamic therapy (PDT).

 

Diffusion imaging of muscle
We have pioneered the use of diffusion imaging of skeletal and heart muscle. Diffusion imaging provides powerful readouts of muscle tissue microstructure and architecture in health and disease. We (1) were the first to develop diffusion-tensor-imaging (DTI) for mouse skeletal muscle, (2) have translated DTI protocols for the assessment of neuromuscular disorders in humans, (3) applied ex vivo diffusion-imaging to assess microstructural and architectural changes in the mouse myocardium after myocardial infarction, and (4) are currently developing in vivo diffusion protocols for imaging of the beating human heart.



 

 

specialisation

Preclinical and translational Magnetic Resonance Imaging

ID: 87787